Self Praise of Another Kind
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi suffers from delusions of grandeur. Thanks to our imperfect justice delivery system, Modi is still walking free seven years after the state-sponsored Gujarat pogrom of 2002.
That has emboldened him enough to say nasty things about Sonia Gandhi and her illustrious in-laws, besides everybody else. Recently this loudmouth, whose role in Gujarat 2002 has been ordered by the Supreme Court to be investigated, tried to belittle Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Indiaís first prime minister, by comparing him to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Union home minister in Nehruís cabinet.
Sardar Patel is a respected leader, but comparing him to Nehru to belittle the latter is a reprehensible act. Modi is not just a Hindutva fanatic, but an emblem of Gujarati parochialism as well. Sardar Patel, who happened to be a Gujarati like Modi, is thus sought to be appropriated by him.
This has gone to the extent that Modiís hangers on call him Chhote Sardar (the real Sardar being Sardar Patel). Modi erroneously thinks that by making Sardar Patel look like a giant before a pygmie Nehru he too will gain in stature and bask in reflected glory.
As per this perverted logic Sardar Patelís chhota version is superior to the Nehru-Gandhis of today as the Sardar was to Nehru. This is the implication of his uncalled for remark.
Thankfully, nobody has tried to belittle Sardar Patel in response to Modiís outlandish outbursts. That is what it should be: we should respect our national heroes, including Sardar Patel and Nehru. No petty politics, please. g